Choosing the right hinge for your chain link fence gate is crucial in order for it to open and close freely and with little effort. Chances are, if you’re having a fence professionally installed, your fencing contractor will have their favorite hinges already on hand.
And, unless the gate is required to preform a specific task, they won’t even give you the option of choosing any other than the ones they prefer. There is a reason for this.
There are many different hinge options for a chain link fence gate. However, there are a few tried and true designs that have stood the test of time. They work. They always will work. And there is no reason to change.
That being said, if you aren’t a professional fence installer, you may have no idea where to start when shopping for the correct type of hinges for your gates.
So I put together this short guide to explain the differences of the some of the most popular types used for chain link fence. These are the time trusted, industry standard hinges that have proven themselves on countless gates across the world.
Size of Gate Frames and Posts Matter
Many of the hinges listed below come in a variety of sizes. There are two measurements you will need to know when shopping for gate hinges. The first is the measurement of the diameter of the upright on your gate frame. The second is the measurement of the diameter your gate post.
Gate Frame Sizes
The most common frame sizes are 1-3/8″, 1-5/8″ and 2″ in diameter. 1-3/8″ is always used on residential gates. 2″ is always found on commercial chain link gate frames. The 1-5/8″ diameter frame can be used for either.
Gate Post Sizes
There are even more diameter sizes for gate posts. For residential chain link fencing, 1-7/8″ and 2-3/8″ are the most common sizes. However, for larger gates sometimes a 2-7/8″ or 4″ diameter post is installed. Providing added support and strength.
For commercial grade gate posts, 2-3/8″, 2-7/8″, 4″, 6-5/8″ and even 8-5/8″ diameter are all options. Many times these post have a heavier wall thickness to add strength.
It is important to choose the correct size hinges for the job. Some are adjustable in size. However, most are very specific and require the exact measurement in order to function properly.
Male and Female Frame Hinges
Male and female are the most common type of hinge to install on light weight residential gates. Designed to be simple and affordable in price, carriage bolts are used to attach the hinge to the gate and post.
They allow gates to swing in both directions, opening a little further than 90 degre
Bulldog gate hinges are made from steel and use a u-bolt to attach to the post. A u-shaped collar wraps around the gate upright and bolts back to the hinge body.
Hinge post size is required. However, the collar side is adjustable, fitting gate uprights from 1-5/8″ to 1-7/8″ in diameter.
Bulldog hinges are a very popular commercial grade gate hinges. They allow gates to swing in both directions, with just over 90 degrees range of motion.
Box or Butt Hinge
A butt or box hinge is a cast version of the bulldog hinge. Gate post diameter is specific to each hinge with the strap collar accommodating both 1-5/8″ and 1-7/8″ diameters for the frames of the gates.
Instead of using a U-bolt to attach the hinge to the post, butt hinges have a cast clamp sandwiching the post between the two pieces. They have the same range of motion as the bulldog hinge as well as allowing gates to swing in either direction.
180 Degree Hinge
A 180 degree hinge does just what its name entails. It allows a chain link fence gates to swing 180 degrees open. However, only in one direction.
Available in both cast or pressed steel, 180 degree hinges are mostly found on commercial gates. Both the gate frame and hinge post sizes are specific when purchasing.
A gravity hinge is a type of residential self closing hinge. This uniquely designed hinge system uses the weight of the gate to close itself. Requiring no springs to function.
Another feature not found with other self closing hinges is the ability to open in both directions.
Similar to male and female straps, each side of a gravity hinge is specific in size.
Dog Kennel Hinge
A kennel hinge is a type of chain link fence gate hinge that fits inside of an 1-3/8″ diameter gate frame. Helping to eliminate any pinch points. Therefore being safe when opening and closing around dogs.
Kennel hinges allow gates to swing freely in both directions. However, they are only available in the 1-3/8″ diameter size for both the gate and hinge side. A popular size for dog kennel panels.
J – Bolt Hinge
J-bolt hinge require drilling a hole through the post in order to install. Mush like the male side of the male and female hinge combination, a J-bolt hinge does require the female hinge in order to work.
Adjustability is the advantage of J-bolts. The thread shaft allows for in and out adjustments over time. J0bolts also allow gates to swing in both directions just past the 90 degree mark.
Tru-Close Chain Link Gate Hinges
Tru-close hinges are a type of spring loaded nylon hinges designed to self close gates. Commonly used for swimming pool fences. The Tru-Close chain link hinge kit comes with adjustable spaces to accommodate multiple sizes for both the gate upright and hinge post size.
Not only is the spring tension adjustable. The hinge is designed to also adjust inwards and outwards to accommodate difference gaps. Making it a perfect option when replacing existing hinges.
Tru-close hinges only open in one direction. However, they do allow a chain link fence gate to open 180 degrees.
Read our blog post about chain link gate latches to learn how to keep your gate securely latched or locked.